Washington downgrades apple crop forecast

With the majority of Washington’s apple crop picked, growers are downgrading their forecast for the harvest.

Washington Apple Commission says reports show this year’s harvest will be 10 percent less than the 134 million boxes forecast in August.

Among factors cited for the reduction were trees heading into a reduced growth cycle, workers doing more selective sort-picking in the orchards and a Labor Day windstorm that buffeted orchards in the Yakima Valley and elsewhere, damaging fruit.

Apple growers also said sizing appeared to be smaller this year.

The apple commission also reported increased demand for the fruit because of the coronavirus pandemic turning people’s attention to more healthy foods.

With 65 percent of the nation’s apples grown in Washington, it’s the nation’s largest apple-producing state. (AP)

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